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Botanicals with estrogenic activity

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Several plant extracts exhibit estrogenic activity both in vivo and in vitro, Patricia Eagon, PhD, et al., University of Pittsburgh, reports. Dong qui, licorice, blue and black cohosh, American ginseng and hops extracts were found to bind to estrogen receptors, while vitex, dong qui and cohosh increased the uterine weight and decreased the blood levels of luteinizing hormone in rats whose ovaries had been removed. All three instances indicate the extracts behave like natural estrogen, which is promising for the treatment of menopausal discomfort and other gynecological symptoms. However, since estrogen is known to help cause breast and uterine cancers, the researchers speculate women with family histories of these diseases might want to avoid taking the botanicals

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